The last week of this term was Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) which provided an important opportunity to tune into our feelings and the feelings of those around us. This year MHAW feels more important than ever. Covid-19 has now had a far reaching impact on people right across the world and it has affected many of the normal coping strategies we use to deal with stress, as well as on the everyday activities that underpins our emotional wellbeing.

To recognise Mental Health Awareness Week in a virtual space, Nurse Wilson and School Counsellor, Miss Stewart, very cleverly coined the concept “Stall in Your Hall(way)”, an adaption of our termly Stall In The Hall event held in School. Using Microsoft Teams as our discussion platform, girls were invited to browse the various channels and contribute to content and conversations along the official theme of kindness. Among the resources available there were anonymous Acts of Kindness surveys, online meditation sessions, Kindness playlists, thought-provoking theory from teachers across a range of subjects (did you know there is a mathematical theory for altruism?) and topical videos.

One such video showed Miss Stewart’s insightful interview with Mr Tippett to obtain his thoughts on the complex and multi-faceted construct of kindness. Mr Tippett touched upon more abstract ways to show kindness, such as helping the environment, which will serve to benefit future generations. It was a poignant reminder as to just how many ways there are to show kindness.

Nurse Wilson and Miss Stewart also hosted a live chat on Wednesday lunchtime, taking questions and talking in detail on what kindness means to them.

We concluded the week by circulating an Acts of Kindness video which was a montage of girls’ submissions on how they have demonstrated kindness recently. Mrs Barnett also shared a video on the MHAW Teams channel to showcase the kind behaviours that Junior School girls had been exhibiting, as well as some uplifting messages they wanted to share with friends.

It was great to see so many girls taking an active role in the exercises and discussions throughout the week and reinforced how important it is to dedicate time to check in and connect with one another.

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